DIY Herbal Blends

Herbal blends are a great staple to have on hand in the kitchen – they’re a quick way to add a desired flavor element to soups, stews, roasts, etc. But they can be incredibly expensive at the supermarket – small jar of herbes de provence can cost eight or nine dollars! That’s ridiculous, especially when you can use it up in 5-6 dinners.

It’s much more cost effective and sensible to mix your own. By buying herbs in bulk, you can get exactly the quantity you need without paying excess dollars for packaging. It’s better for the environment too. Instead of throwing out spice jars (especially those nice, yet pricey glass McCormick bottles) save them for your own custom creations. You can also store your bulk mixes in pint Mason jars.

Another benefit to making your own herb mixes is the fact that you can customize them. If you favor lavender in your herbes de  provence, add a little more. Or if you don’t like the taste (or lack thereof, in some opinions) of dried parsley, leave it out of your bouquet garni mix and throw in some fresh when you’re cooking. You can also double or triple the proportions in the guidelines below so you have plenty on hand, or to give away as gifts.

Herbes de Provence

Makes about 2 cups

¼ dried marjoram

¼ cup dried oregano

¼ cup dried savory

½ cup dried rosemary

½ cup dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried lavender (I favor lavender, so I add 4 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons dried fennel seeds (optional)

Bouquet Garni

Makes about 1 cup

¼ cup dried parsley (you can omit this and use fresh when cooking instead)

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried marjoram

2 tablespoons dried lovage

Note – when cooking, you’ll want to add a bay leaf when using this mix, to complete the bouquet garni flavor.

Italian Seasoning

Makes about 1 ½ cups

½ cup dried oregano

½ cup dried basil

¼ cup dried parsley (you can omit this and use fresh when cooking instead)

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons dried sage

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)